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Court rejects plea for quashing the jury's decision in National Awards

New Delhi The Delhi High Court has dismissed a plea challenging the Centre's alleged failure to consider an Assamese film for screening at the 59th National Film Festival among regional category movies.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw on Monday also imposed Rs 2000 on the petitioner for moving the court without ascertaining the facts of the case.

In the plea, the petitioner had alleged that the Centre had not cleared Assamese film "Ekhon Nedekha Nadir Xipaare" for screening among regional category movies at the film festival as it had dialogues in Hindi and English.

It had contended that on the contrary, the best film 'I Am', selected in the regional language category, was shot at various places in Kashmir, Kolkata, Bangalore and Mumbai and had dialogues in Hindi, English and Kashmiri.

The High Court, however, dismissed the plea after examining various documents submitted by the Centre on selection of regional films and finding that the film 'Ekhon Nedekha Nadir Xipaare' too along with other films from eastern region had been recommended for preview by the jury members, who had eventually rejected it.

"The records shown by the Central government falsify the claims of the petitioner that the film was not viewed by the jury members in the regional category," the bench said.
 
Earlier the bench had asked the Centre to explain the reasons for rejecting 'Ekhon Nedekha Nadir Xipaare' as a non-Assamese movie at this year's National Film festival Awards despite the Censor board having cleared it as an Assamese movie.

The petitioner had alleged that by rejecting the film in the regional language, the jury had deprived the Assamese film industry from participating in the competition.

The film, directed by Bidyut Kotoky, stars veteran actor Victor Banerjee, Sanjay Suri, Raj Zutshi, Priti Jhangiani and Bidita Bag among others. It also has a Hindi version "As the River Flows".

The National Awards were announced in March and the distribution ceremony will be held in May.
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